Emily Lam

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Limor Fried and Phillip Torrone

So I'm such a fan of Limor Fried (Lady Ada). I think what she's doing is amazing: creating things to help enable others. It's great. She's that modern contemporary I want to be.

Anyways, I was watching Lady Ada's interview with Zack of Particle about Particle's new Raspberry Pi features. And then I ended up watching the whole episode in the background. But what really got my attention was at the end, around 1:11:26, when Phil starts talking about his and Limor's relationship. He is such an advocate for her and I thought wow, that's awesome.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


"When you get, give. When you learn, teach" -- Maya Angelou

The current turmoil in the the United States has partly been brought upon us because we are so deeply divided and unsatisfied. It's so hard for anyone these days to connect with the other side. Instead of trying to see eye-to-eye, we are dismissive to each other's ideas. And so there's a deep sense of misunderstanding.

As a country, we have now elected an openly racist, sexist, bigoted man to presidency, which is not okay. And I don't think that was anybody's intention. But that just goes to show how discontented half the United States is with the status quo that they were willing to avert their eyes to those terrible traits (because those traits affect then less) in the hope that finally their voices will be heard. I do not believe Donald Trump is fit to be the president of the United States. But I'm way more interested in understanding the people who elected him into presidency and making sure the rights I enjoy are available to everyone especially if they don't have a voice.

I've always been a person who was very different but tried very hard to relate to everyone, like a chameleon. Anyone who knows me during high school or college knows I tried to be friends with everyone: the nerds, the slackers, the illegal immigrants, the rich, the poor, the gang members, the mean people, the cool kids, the runners, the writers, the misunderstood, the sports fans, etc. I wasn't friends with everyone, but I tried. As a result, my interests are everywhere: I'm not really good at one thing, I don't have one social clique, my path in life isn't overwhelming obvious, and I find myself lost more often than not. This past couple years, I decided to not connect with people as much; the introvert in me was tired. I wanted to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. I got caught up in my own life. I put very little effort into befriending people; I closed off. I tell you this because I recently realized how selfish that was of me.

The other day I found myself overwhelmed with helping students in the course I'm assisting in. I lamented to my advisor. His response was simple: it's because you're accessible, approachable. In that moment, I realized I don't ever want to be the person who is not approachable, regardless of the time-sink it is to me. If I can help, I'll help. If I can be your friend, I'll be your friend.

Now, especially now, if you have a voice, you need to use it!

I'm incredibly privileged, which means I really just can't sit passively on the sidelines when there are people who don't have those privileges. Actively, day in and day out, I have to do my share by: leading by example; working hard; creating and sharing my work; sharing my life with others; listening to others; learning constantly; trying to understand others; admitting mistakes and follies; being myself; and knowing my limits.

On the web, you see entities making political stances that normally would rather not intrude in topics not up their alley. But it's reached a point where you need to take a stance. Even if it's controversial or will create a backlash. Even if you want to live under a rock and disconnect from this messy world (my case). This messy world is ours and we must take care of it!

The city . . .
(This post is meant to be more of a reminder to myself than a message to the world. But there's something in immortalizing my thoughts in writing that helps me organize my thoughts and hold myself accountable.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Perusing through the Youtube, I came across this awesome performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps by the Beatles in tribute of George Harrison. Oh geez, Paul's piano intro, Clapton's solo, the saxophones, the bongos, everyone nailed it!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul"

You take inspiration whenever and wherever it comes from.

I really like it when I discover new songs from other artists. I think that's one of the beauty of covering songs: sharing a song you enjoy with someone else. This one, The Wind, originally by Cat Stevens, and covered below by Kina Grannis and Imaginary Future, is touching. Both versions are beautiful.

I saw this dance cover of Crush by Yuna (ft. Usher) by Vinh Nguyen of Kinjaz that I really liked. Kinjaz has some really awesome choreography and videography. I thought their Adele video was amazing. Too bad it was taken down.

There has also been a lot of lightning in the Boston area lately. Tried my hand at painting it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Great Smoky Mountains & Pisgah National Forest

A couple of weeks back I took a trip down to North Carolina to visit my friend and escape the city bustle. It was boring in that there isn't much going on where my friend was living. But that made it oh so more wonderful. And relaxing. It was quite nice; we adventured like the good ole times. 
The Great Smoky Mountains from the top of Chimney Top Mountain.
We visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and casually hiked up Chimney Top Mountains. Chimney Top Mountains has this bare rock top with a very angled and jagged slope that was quite fun to climb. Mountains are surreal. They're just so old and there. I love to just sit/stand there in awe and take it all in. They're very giving.

A picture of the rocks at the top of Chimney Top Mountain.
Caught this gorgeous sunset somewhere in Great Smoky Mountains. Ahh, just look at those layers!
So the national parks services are celebrating their centennial! It's kind of a great reminder that we have these beautiful parks to explore. I believe POTUS Obama is also hitting the rounds and has visited a bunch of the parks during his presidency. There are tons of parks, big and small, some more forest and some more history. So yeah, check them out! We also went waterfall hunting in the land of waterfalls, aka the Pisgah National Forest. Nature. =]

This is the popular Looking Glass Falls
Precariously on a ledge next to Moore Cove Falls. 
All and all, it was a great trip. More pictures here

Monday, June 20, 2016

Longest day of the year . . .

Happy Summer Solstice. Enjoy the sun and moon and life.

Friday, June 10, 2016

All I Could Do

All I Could Do, by Kimye Dawson, covered by Amanda Palmer, guitar by Jack Palmer.

It's strange that this is the song that brought me back to life. It's very easy to listen to; the melody is relaxing; the lyrics are complex and meaningful. It's nonintrusive, raw, and honest. The singer talks about her uncertain feelings about becoming a mother. She talks about doing something new that is completely foreign to her. How she might not be able to do what she has known and always done. She reminisces her past and how she's changed. She thinks back to all the things she had thought were all she could do at the time. Although, my life is completely different, the emotions feel familiar.

I'd been struggling with my overwhelming amount of thoughts these days. I don't know who I am. I struggle a lot with deciding what I want to do. There are times I wished I thought less and knew less and was blissfully ignorant. But that's flawed thinking. It's comforting to hear the singer accept that we continue to change and that it's okay. It's easy to think that things don't change, that people don't change, that things won't be different, to lose hope -- I fall prey to this. That the world moves on while you stand still. But that's not true. Everything changes, especially people. Who I am today is a compilation of who I was in the yesteryears; ever-changing. I love how positive change is conveyed in this song.

Accepting that change is the only constant is a paradox in itself. That's life. Gah!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Waking up to one alarm

This year, I made a new year resolution to wake up to one alarm. It stopped making sense to me why I would set multiple alarms. I would set an alarm for 6:30am, 6:45am, 7:00am, 7:15am, 7:30am, 8:00am, 8:15am, 8:30am. Then I would allow myself to hit snooze a few times. It got really ridiculous. I never woke up at 6:30am. Despite how much I wanted to, deep down that was never my intention. So why was I setting an alarm for 6:30am and interrupting my sleep if I wasn't going to get up until 8:30am? I was basically ruining two good hours of sleep.

Initially, I had used multiple alarms as a safety net. I think that's how most people use it because you just can't trust your unconscious self in the morning. But then I started to not take the first alarm seriously and would immediately turn off the alarm and go back to sleep and then miss the second alarm or hit snooze at the second alarm. I remedied that by setting more alarms closer in interval. If I don't give myself the chance to fall back asleep, then I'd be able to get up. But nope, that didn't work either. It spiraled so out of control that I'm guilty of setting alarms with five minutes differences from each other. Yikes!

So I decided to cut cold turkey. One alarm. That's it. No safety nets. If I don't get up, I'd have to deal with the repercussions of sleeping until noon. I was done being that annoying roommate who sets 324094589 alarms.

This post really isn't about how I got to being able to wake up in the morning because there's so many different ways one can try and their effectiveness varies. But the main goal is to have enough self-discipline and motivation to develop a routine and habit. Humans are creatures of habits. But if you put in enough effort, change is possible. Your sleep schedule is actually one of the easiest habit to hack because there's a circadian rhythm your body strives to maintain. Once you get yourself on a good schedule and you sleep enough and don't throw your circadian rhythm too out of whack, it's actually really easy to wake up, even if you do go a day or two of the week messing up your sleep.

So I did it. I now only need one alarm! =] And most of the time, I wake up before my alarm! I know, crazy! It amazes me too. But the main reason I wanted to write all this is because no one really talks about how much less stressful it is to not have to worry about waking up. Now I can go to sleep in confidence that I will wake up when I need to. It's so so so beautiful. There are times I've forgotten to set alarms and I still wake up at the time I need too. Sometimes, when I know I don't have meetings or anything of priority I don't even set alarms. I'm giving my body the opportunity to get the sleep it needs. Because when there's no alarms, your body will naturally wake up when it needs to and compensate when it has too. So yeah, one alarm! =]

I'll leave you with a picture of some adorable goslings! =]

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hi! My name is (what?)

My name is (who?) My name is . . .

It's been more than three months since I last blogged, the longest stretch I've gone without blogging. I've been super stressed lately: flailing at the work, life, balance thing; accepting decisions, and just being myself -- sometimes you forget who you are. So really, I should have been more active in trying to consistently blog; you know, to help alleviate the stress and sort out my thoughts. A lot of the reasons I haven't been blogging is because talking about what stresses me out is a lot of effort. I have to explain the situation and then it's still confusing. But I think things are clearer now. I'm starting to feel more like myself. (Or maybe I've been myself and this self isn't real . . . oOoOoOoooooo.)

Sometimes half the battle is just admitting you've been a little deranged.

Maybe it's been the weather. It's been a very mild winter. But at the same time, spring has come and gone. Not really staying for more than a couple of days. Inconsistent weather.

So what's new? Well, I'm going to attempt a stronger effort in work, life, balance. I'm going to try to be more productive. To stick to times better. And get more things done.

. . . Slim Shady.